Dr Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the period revolutionary—leading the change to better periods.
She first worked as a researcher and evolutionary biologist at the University of Calgary. She then went on to graduate as a naturopathic doctor from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM).
Her mission is to empower women to have easy, symptomless periods and join the worldwide "period revolution."
We interviewed her so that you can get some insight into what she does.
What is your professional background?
I first trained as a scientist at the University of Calgary, Canada. There, I studied sex differences in the foraging behaviour of animals and published a paper in a peer-reviewed journal. I then went on to qualify as a naturopathic doctor from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto. I practiced four years in Canada and then moved to Sydney in 2001 to begin my career as an Australian naturopath.
What drives you to do the work that you do?
My patients inspire me more than anything. It’s for them that I strive to keep ahead of current research. And it’s from them that I’ve learned how well diet and nutrition really do work for period problems. I’m incredibly grateful for my 20+ years with patients and that’s why I’ve dedicated both my books to them.
How would you describe your philosophy about 'healthy'?
My love of science and the natural world has informed the way I see health. I view the body as a logical, regenerative system that knows what to do when it's given the right support. I’ve seen that principle in action with all kinds of health problems, including period problems, which are simply not as mysterious or complicated as they’ve been made out to be.
Picture this, you're living your most perfect day- what does this look like?
My most perfect day is a full day walking in the mountains of New Zealand or Canada. Preferably, with an overnight back on my back and the plan to sleep in a tent.
Now, what does your actual typical day look like?
I love walking so much that I do make time for it most days. Even if it’s just a short walk in the Port Hills of Christchurch, near where I live. The rest of my typical day is an assortment of tasks including video consults with my Sydney patients and usually a whole lot of writing. The day finishes with a hearty dinner prepared by me, or more commonly, by my husband.
What's your typical meal for....
· Breakfast. More and more, I’m becoming a “dinner for breakfast” kind of person. I’m lucky in that I'm often working from home, so I can heat up meat and potatoes from the night before.
· Lunch: If I didn’t eat leftovers for breakfast, then I’ll have them for lunch. Otherwise, I might cook a quick pot of rice and have it with canned fish and salad.
· Dinner: We generally eat a protein like lamb or chicken, together with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables. Sometimes, my husband gets fancy and makes my favourite meal of slow-cooked duck legs and duck-fat potatoes.
· Snacks or sweets: I eat rather an embarrassing amount of dark chocolate.
What's one of the biggest health misconceptions in your opinion?
That women’s health is separate from general health. In reality, women’s health including menstrual health is an extension of general health.
What things do you do to keep up to date with your profession?
I read journal articles and attend as many webinars and symposiums as I can.
Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?
My blog is LaraBriden.com (https://www.larabriden.com/) and my book Period Repair Manual, which is available in most New Zealand bookshops.
Research and popular science articles by the members and faculty of the Holistic Performance Institute.